An invitation has been issued to public sector organisations to submit entries to the sixth European Enterprise Awards which showcase projects and initiatives promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging business throughout Europe.
Run by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, the awards aim to recognise successful promoters of enterprise and entrepreneurship in Europe, raise awareness of the value of entrepreneurship, and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.
Participation in the European Enterprise Awards is open to national, regional, or local authorities, or public-private partnerships from anywhere in the EU in five categories:
- Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
- Investing in skills
- Improving the business environment
- Supporting the business environment
- Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship.
Gillian Slattery, regional development executive of Enterprise Ireland, added: ‘There are a lot of innovative projects in Ireland and it is important to recognise organisations showing entrepreneurial spirit. We are delighted to be working on this event again with the European Commission.”
The awards examine aspects such as the originality of initiatives, the impact they have on the local economy, the improvement of local stakeholder relations and potential transferability of the project to other regions in Europe.
One of the areas being focused on this year is SME funding for those entrepreneurs who want to extend their business and enter new markets. SMEs are widely acknowledged as being a significant contributor to growth and their job creation potential is impressive, with 85 per cent of all new jobs in the EU coming from the SME sector. Public authorities support SMEs with a large number of initiatives that drive increased activity in this area.
Selection of winners consists of two phases: a national and a European competition. A maximum of two nominees will be selected per country and go forward to the European competition. Irish winners will be announced in July 2012 with the overall European winners to be announced in November 2012 in an awards ceremony in Cyprus to which all national nominees are invited. The deadline for submissions is Friday July 6.
Entry forms and further information can be obtained from Gillian Slattery at Enterprise Ireland at [email protected] or the EU website: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/entrepreneurship/smes/awards/